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Humans of VAFB: Mr. Roy Lapioli and his Evolutionary Career

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Editor's Note: This is part two of a three part series highlighting the individuals of Vandenberg.

Mr. Roy Lapioli, 30th Force Support Squadron Education Counselor and civilian training manager, and has had the unique experience of having his career run full-circle. He began his uniformed career as an Airman Basic at Vandenberg, and decades later found himself once again back at Vandenberg where he retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. The experiences that Lapioli gained throughout his enlisted career helped build the foundation on which he has constructed his civilian career.

"Vandenberg was my very first duty station," said Lapioli. "I was a heavy equipment operator or a 'dirt boy' as we were commonly referred to. I had a good career. I ended up back here at Vandenberg working as the Superintendent for the same squadron I started out in."

Lapioli's circumlocution of a career provided him with unique opportunities.

"One of the highlights of my career came from my time in Africa," said Lapioli. "Our goal was to explain the infrastructure of the enlisted core to what is now the Air Force equivalent there. We helped architect their enlisted core which is a pretty cool thing to have impacted."

Lapioli retired as a Chief Master Sergeant 30 years after first enlisting. Having received his master's degree in education and training, he pursued a job offer as an education counselor that allowed him to continue serving airmen. As time has gone on in his civilian career, he became multi-faceted. Now he finds himself transitioning yet again and will provide the same resources and aid to civil servants as he once did for uniformed members. Lapioli is excited about this change as it will allow him to explore further opportunities.

"The best part of my job is that I am able to help connect people to their dreams and goals," said Lapioli. "I now get to do this for civil servants. It's exciting because I get to learn about a different world. I'm starting over. I think it's important to re-earn credibility throughout your career and its fun getting to re-learn."

Lapioli is not satisfied merely doing his job and aims to create more opportunities to serve others.

"I'm currently working on building a no-cost civil servant professional development course," said Lapioli. "This is the most fun part about my job right now because it will get me into the classroom."

Individuals who have ventured into Lapioli's office for help can attest that it is beneficial that he ended up back here 30 years later after first enlisting.

"I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into Mr. Lapioli's office," said Senior Airman Kyla Gifford, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs photojournalist. "I felt weighed down by questions regarding education, and Mr. Lapioli proved to be extremely helpful and knowledgeable. He went above and beyond to make sure I got all the information I needed to make future decisions. It's comforting to know there are professionals, like him, available to assist Airmen on base."